K+S Aktiengesellschaft

EANS-News: K+S Aktiengesellschaft
K+S: Strong Rise in Revenues and Earnings in 2008

Growth course continued

@@start.t1@@--------------------------------------------------------------------------------   ots.CorporateNews transmitted by euro adhoc. The issuer is responsible for   the content of this announcement. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------@@end@@

balance/finances/shares/Q4/2008

Kassel (euro adhoc) - Kassel, 12 March 2009

Growth course continued Strong Rise in Revenues and Earnings in 2008

@@start.t2@@. At EUR 4.8 billion, revenues up 43% year on year
      . At EUR 1.34 billion, operating earnings increase almost fivefold
      . Adjusted earnings per share at EUR 5.94 (2007: EUR 1.06)
      . At EUR 2.40, dividend proposed increases almost fivefold
      . 2009 Outlook: Revenues and earnings lower

The year 2008 was by far the best year in the over 100-year history of  the  K+S@@end@@

Group. "The increases in revenues and earnings speak for themselves - but  that is not all, the figures also  confirm  that  the  K+S   Group  is  in  the  right position for important, global megatrends. They include, above all, the  growing world  population,  rising   meat  consumption  in  emerging    market    countries associated with an increase in demand for feed as well  as  growing  demand  for biofuels. To put it differently: Also and precisely in times  of   financial  and economic crises, this is a  far  more  stable   starting  point  for  sustainable success than those of many other sectors," says  Norbert  Steiner,  chairman  of the Board of Executive Directors of K+S Aktiengesellschaft.

At EUR 4.8 billion, revenues rise 43% year on year For financial year 2008, K+S posted revenues of EUR 4,794.4 million,  an increase of 43.4% year on year. The increase in revenues can be  attributed  to positive price effects, which could more than  make  up  for  the   moderate declines  in revenues that resulted from currency factors as well  as  for  the  significant declines in revenues caused by volume factors in the fourth quarter.

The  Potash  and  Magnesium  Products,  fertiva  and  COMPO  business segments increased their revenues mainly as a result of  considerably higher  fertilizer prices. In the Salt business segment, weak de-icing  salt  sales  in  the  first quarter were more than compensated for  by  higher  revenues  in  the  salt  for chemical use, industrial salt and  food  grade  salt  segments  and  also  as a consequence of the onset of winter in the fourth quarter.

With 50% of the total,  the  Potash  and  Magnesium  Products   business  segment posted the highest revenues of all the K+S Group's business  segments  followed by fertiva, COMPO and Salt. In  Europe, K+S  achieved  revenues  of  EUR 3,263.8 million (+46%). The region thus accounted for just under 70% of total revenues. Revenues generated on overseas markets rose by 37%  to  a  total  of EUR   1,530.6 million.

At EUR 1.34 billion, operating earnings almost quintupled At EUR 1,342.7 million, operating earnings EBIT I were up a good EUR  1   billion  or 370% on last year's figure (2007: EUR 285.7 million). Except for the Salt and  the Complementary Business segments, all business segments were able to improve  on the previous year materially. Far higher  prices  for  standard  and  speciality fertilizers resulted in a situation where it  proved  possible  to considerably more than make up for higher production costs as well as currency effects.

With regard to operating earnings, seasonality was overshadowed  by   the  strong price effects. The prices for fertilizers, which  had   risen  constantly  during the course of the year, resulted in a large growth in  earnings,  which  reached its zenith in the  third   quarter;  in  the  fourth  quarter,  the  volume  sold declined significantly in the wake  of  the  beginnings  of  the  financial   and economic crisis. Operating earnings  in  the  Salt  business   segment  were,  as expected, somewhat lower than those of the previous year due  to  higher  costs, in particular for energy and freight, and of a lower currency result.

Adjust earnings before and after taxes rise strongly

Adjusted earnings before taxes amounted to EUR 1,199.1 million. If these earnings are adjusted for the included effects  of  market   value  changes  from  hedging transactions as well as derivatives that are no longer  in  operation amounting to EUR 150.4 million, adjusted earnings before taxes amount to EUR 1,349.5  million. Thus, this more appropriate financial indicator for assessing economic   success improved by EUR 1.1 billion year on year.

At EUR 979.3 million, Group earnings adjusted  for  the  effect  of   market value changes exceeded the previous year's level by EUR 804.0 million.  In addition  to dramatically higher  operating  earnings,   this  was  also  due  to  the  better financial result.

For the year under review, adjusted earnings per share amounted to   EUR  5.94, up 460% on the previous year's figure of EUR 1.06.

At EUR 2.40, dividend proposed increases almost fivefold K+S pursues an earnings-based policy on dividends and  normally  strives  for  a dividend rate of 40% to 50% of the adjusted  Group  earnings  after   taxes.  The Board of Executive Directors and the Supervisory Board will thus propose to  the Annual General Meeting that the dividend for the past financial year  should  be raised substantially in accordance with earnings and EUR 2.40 per share  be paid. This corresponds to a dividend payment rate of about  40%.  With  165.0 million shares outstanding, this therefore results in a  total   dividend payment  of  EUR 396.0 million. Based on a share price of EUR 39.97 at the end of  the  year,  our dividend proposal will lead to a dividend yield of 6.0%, and, on  the  basis  of yesterday's closing price, even of 7,1%.

2009 Outlook Following the estimates in the  outlook  for  the  third quarter  of  2008  and against the background of the price level  for potash  and  magnesium  products evident in the first quarter, K+S expects tangibly  higher  average  prices  for 2009 as a whole compared with  the  previous  year.  However,  K+S  now  expects significantly lower sales, which should rather offset the   aforementioned  price effect. While the revenues of the COMPO and fertiva business segments should  be down significantly, mainly in view of substantial price decreases  for  nitrogen fertilizers, K+S expects significantly higher revenues  for  the  Salt  business segment because of the good start with de-icing salt.

Overall, the revenues of the K+S Group in 2009 should be down   markedly  on  the previous year. The revenue forecast assumes an average US dollar  exchange  rate for 2009 of about 1.30 USD/EUR (2008: 1.47 USD/EUR).

In 2009, the total costs of the K+S Group should  decrease  only   moderately  in comparison to the previous year: As far as  personnel expenses  are  concerned, K+S expects that the additional costs arising from the  most  recent  collective agreement pay rise and a   slight  increase  in  the  number  of  personnel  will moderately exceed the savings resulting from short-time  working.  By  contrast, energy costs should reach a lower level than a year ago due to price and  volume factors. K+S also  sees  some  relief  in  material  and freight  costs,  while depreciation/amortisation charges should increase by a rate in  the  mid-single- digit percentage range.

For the financial year 2009, K+S estimates significantly lower EBIT I operating earnings in comparison to the peak experienced last year. This is primarily  due to the already described decreasing sales volume in  the  Potash  and  Magnesium Products business segment. Even a stronger US dollar exchange  rate  and  higher earnings from salt against last  year  are  not  inclining  us  to  change  this forecast.

The adjusted Group earnings after taxes should be significantly lower in  2009    in line with the development of operating earnings.

For 2010, K+S thinks it  highly  probable  that  revenues  will   again  increase markedly; this assessment is based primarily on   significantly  higher  revenues in the Potash and Magnesium Products business segment  due  to  volume  factors. Given that, K+S sees   realistic  chances  of  a  significant  increase  also  in operating earnings.

Medium- to Long-Term Trends in Demand "The indicators for healthy and profitable  growth  for  the  K+S  Group  remain favourable for the coming years: The growing  global  population,  the  tendency for the emerging market countries to consume more meat, in  spite  of   recurrent economic crises, and the associated increase in the demand for feed will  prompt the demand for large parts of our  product   range  to  increase  further,"  says Steiner. In the global salt business too, the world population  trend  described above and the resultant changes in lifestyle should have a positive impact.  The fact that de-icing salt will continue to  be  urgently  needed  to   ensure  road safety has again been demonstrated during the past few months on both  sides  of the Atlantic.  "Against  the  backdrop  of strong  financial  fundamentals,  we continue to assess the economic position, above  all  in  the  medium  term,  as positive," Steiner continued.

Experience growth The K+S Group is  one  of  the  world's  leading   suppliers  of  speciality  and standard fertilizers, plant care as well as salt  products.  With  its  products and brands, K+S offers its customers a range of needs-based goods  and  services which provides growth opportunities in virtually every  sphere  of  daily   life. The K+S Group employs 12,000 people and achieved revenues of just  under  EUR 5.0 billion  in  2008.  K+S  is  quoted  on  all   German  stock    exchanges    (ISIN: DE0007162000, symbol: SDF) and listed on the DAX® share index.

Note to editors The 2008 Financial Report, the 2008 Corporate and Sustainability Report as  well as the Quarterly report on the course of business  for  the  K+S  Group  in  the fourth quarter of 2008 can be viewed and  ordered  on  our  website  www.k-plus- s.com. In addition, the speech given by Norbert Steiner, chairman of  the   Board of Executive Directors of K+S  Aktiengesellschaft,  at  today's K+S  Press  and Analysts´ Conference will be available to you on our website as of 10 am.

Conference call for analysts You can follow the analyst conference in English,  that  will  also  take  place today in connection with the publication of  the  annual  financial  statements, live on the Internet  at  www.k-plus-s.com  as  of  1  pm  or  per  phone  under +49.69.5899.90799, PIN 3524527#.

Your contact persons:

Press: Oliver Morgenthal phone: +49 561 9301-1047 fax:    +49 561 9301-2160

oliver.morgenthal@k-plus-s.com

Investor Relations: Christian Herrmann phone: +49 561 9301-1460 fax:    +49 561 9301-2425 christian.herrmann@k-plus-s.com

Forward-looking statements

This press release contains facts  and  forecasts  that  relate  to   the  future development of the K+S Group and its  companies.  The   forecasts  are  estimates that we have made on the basis of all the information available to  us  at  this moment in time. Should the assumptions underlying these forecasts prove  not  to be correct, actual events may deviate from those expected at the present time.

@@start.t3@@|K+S Group at a Glance                  | |                 | |              | |            |
|4th Quarter 2008                          | |                 | |              | |            |
| |                                                 | |Q4              | |Q4          | |            |
|All figures in accordance with    | |Oct.-Dec.  | |Oct.-Dec.| |            |
|IFRSs                                            | |                 | |              | |            |
| |                                                 | |2008          | |2007        | |Change  |
| |                                                 | |EUR million  | |EUR million| |in %      |
| |                                                 | |                 | |              | |            |
|Revenues                                        | |955.5         | |893.7      | |+6.9      |
| |                                                 | |                 | |              | |            |
| |Potash and Magnesium Products  | |498.7         | |386.3      | |+29.1    |
| |COMPO                                         | |100.8         | |127.5      | |(20.9)  |
| |Fertiva                                      | |113.8         | |179.5      | |(36.6)  |
| |Salt                                          | |209.3         | |168.9      | |+23.9    |
| |Complementary Business Segments| |32.8          | |31.4        | |+4.5      |
| |Reconciliation                          | |0.1            | |0.1         | |-          |
| |                                                 | |                 | |              | |            |
|Operating earnings (EBIT I)         | |287.8         | |33.6        | |+756.5  |
| |                                                 | |                 | |              | |            |
| |Potash and Magnesium Products  | |275.3         | |4.2         | |+6,454.8|
| |COMPO                                         | |(10.7)        | |3.8         | |-          |
| |Fertiva                                      | |5.5            | |10.2        | |(46.1)  |
| |Salt                                          | |26.2          | |17.9        | |+46.4    |
| |Complementary Business Segments| |5.8            | |7.8         | |(25.6)  |
| |Reconciliation                          | |(14.3)        | |(10.3)    | |-          |
| |                                                 | |                 | |              | |            |
|Earnings after market value changes |286.0    | |(137.5)  | |-          |
|and derivatives no longer in            |            | |              | |            |
|operation (EBIT II)                          |            | |              | |            |
| |                                                 | |                 | |              | |            |
|Earnings before income taxes        | |315.1         | |(148.7)  | |-          |
| |                                                 | |                 | |              | |            |
|Earnings before income taxes,          | |316.9  | |22.4        | |+1,314.7|
|adjusted1)                                         | |          | |              | |            |
| |                                                 | |                 | |              | |            |
|Group earnings after taxes          | |226.4         | |(97.3)    | |-          |
| |                                                 | |                 | |              | |            |
|Group earnings after taxes, adjusted1)| |227.5| |22.9        | |+893.4  |
| |                                                 | |                 | |              | |            |
|Earnings per share, adjusted         |1.38          | |0.14        | |+885.7  |
|(EUR)1),2)                                         |                 | |              | |            |
| |                                                    | |              | |              | |            |
|Capital expenditure3)                    | |64.4        | |75.4        | |(14.6)  |
|                                                      | |              | |              | |            |
|1)  Adjusted for the effects of market value changes from hedging        |
|transaction as well as derivatives that are                                          |
|no longer in operation; in case of adjusted Group earnings and            |
|adjusted earnings per share, the resulting                                            |
|tax effects were also eliminated.                                                          |
|2) Adjusted to the share split in the ratio 1:4 (entry in Commercial  |
|Register: 24 June 2008; technical                                                          |
|execution: 21 July 2008)                                                                         |
|3) For or in connection with property, plant and equipment, intangible|
|assets

                                                                                                  |
|K+S Group at a Glance              |    |                 | |              | |            |
|January to December 2008            | |                 | |              | |            |
| |                                                 | |                 | |              | |            |
|All figures in accordance with    | |Jan.-Dec.  | |Jan.-Dec.| |            |
|IFRSs                                            | |                 | |              | |            |
| |                                                 | |2008          | |2007        | |Change  |
| |                                                 | |EUR million  | |EUR million| |in %      |
| |                                                 | |                 | |              | |            |
|Revenues                                        | |4,794.4      | |3,344.1  | |+43.4    |
| |                                                 | |                 | |              | |            |
| |Potash and Magnesium Products  | |2,397.4      | |1,408.0  | |+70.3    |
| |COMPO                                         | |750.9         | |617.4      | |+21.6    |
| |fertiva                                      | |901.5         | |648.0      | |+39.1    |
| |Salt                                          | |618.6         | |545.1      | |+13.5    |
| |Complementary Business Segments| |125.3         | |125.1      | |+0.2      |
| |Reconciliation                          | |0.7            | |0.5         | |-          |
| |                                                 | |                 | |              | |            |
|Operating earnings (EBIT I)         | |1,342.7      | |285.7      | |+370.0  |
| |                                                 | |                 | |              | |            |
| |Potash and Magnesium Products  | |1,203.2      | |177.9      | |+576.3  |
| |COMPO                                         | |79.0          | |32.0        | |+146.9  |
| |fertiva                                      | |42.4          | |25.3        | |+67.6    |
| |Salt                                          | |45.2          | |47.8        | |(5.4)    |
| |Complementary Business Segments| |25.1          | |37.7        | |(33.4)  |
| |Reconciliation                          | |(52.2)        | |(35.0)    | |-          |
| |                                                 | |                 | |              | |            |
|Earnings after market value changes    |1,192.3| |(106.9)  | |-          |
|and derivatives no longer in operation|          | |              | |            |
|(EBIT II)                                              |          | |              | |            |
| |                                                 | |                 | |              | |            |
|Earnings before income taxes        | |1,199.1      | |(142.6)  | |-          |
| |                                                 | |                 | |              | |            |
|Earnings before income taxes,          | |1,349.5| |250.0      | |+439.8  |
|adjusted1)                                         | |          | |              | |            |
| |                                                 | |                 | |              | |            |
|Group earnings after taxes          | |870.9         | |(93.3)    | |-          |
| |                                                 | |                 | |              | |            |
|Group earnings after taxes, adjusted1)| |979.3| |175.3      | |+458.6  |
| |                                                 | |                 | |              | |            |
|Earnings per share, adjusted         |5,94          | |1,06        | |+460,4  |
|(EUR)1),2)                                         |                 | |              | |            |
| |                                                    | |              | |              | |            |
|Capital expenditure3)                    | |197.5      | |171.6      | |+15.1    |
|                                                      | |              | |              | |            |
|Employees as of 31 December (number)| |12,368 | |12,033    | |+2.8      |
| |of which trainees (number)          | |615         | |614         | |-          |
|                                                                                                                |
|1)  Adjusted for the effects of market value changes from hedging        |
|transaction as well as derivatives that are                                          |
|no longer in operation; a tax rate of 27.9% (2007: 31.6%) was imputed |
|for adjusted Group earnings and                                                              |
|adjusted earnings per share.                                                                  |
|2) Adjusted to the share split in the ratio 1:4 (entry in Commercial  |
|Register: 24 June 2008; technical                                                          |
|execution: 21 July 2008)                                                                         |
|3) For or in connection with property, plant and equipment, intangible|
|assets                                                                                                      |@@end@@

@@start.t4@@end of announcement                                                 euro adhoc
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ots Originaltext: K+S Aktiengesellschaft
Im Internet recherchierbar: http://www.presseportal.ch

Further inquiry note:
Press:        
Oliver Morgenthal        
phone: +49 561 9301-1047        
fax:    +49 561 9301-2160        
oliver.morgenthal@k-plus-s.com

Branche: Chemicals
ISIN:      DE0007162000
WKN:        716200
Index:    DAX, Midcap Market Index, CDAX, Classic All Share, HDAX,
              Prime All Share
Börsen:  Börse Frankfurt / regulated dealing/prime standard
              Börse Berlin / regulated dealing
              Börse Hamburg / regulated dealing
              Börse Stuttgart / regulated dealing
              Börse Düsseldorf / regulated dealing
              Börse Hannover / regulated dealing
              Börse München / regulated dealing



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